July 14, 2008

Pesto Chicken - Fast and Easy

So what do give to the man who has everything when he turns 60? A party of course! My Uncle turned 60 this month and we threw him a party with all the family. Well my Uncle is a very healthy eater - organic and whatnot, so I knew I had to step up my game. I made grilled chicken tenderloins based with homemade pesto (see recipe below). We had potato salad with a vinegar base instead of mayo, fruit salad, deviled eggs, fresh bread and for dessert watermelon sorbet and birthday cake.

4 c basil leaves
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2- 1 c olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 c grated Pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese

Put basil, garlic, and nuts in the food processor and blend.  Add oil through the hole in the top as it processing.  Finally add salt and cheese.  Freezes beautifully in small baggies or the Food Saver Vac Seal. Course, you could use this over pasta, but I like to think of new uses, like chicken, fish, or even on crusty bread.  Thin it out with more oil and some vinegar and you have a salad dressing.

July 12, 2008


Tis the season...for blueberries that is. We have three blueberry bushes and they were loaded this year. Enough for us and the birds, but next year I'm buying some netting to keep ALL the berries. I think the best way to eat them is straight off the bush, but we also like them with yogurt and granola. Homemade yogurt is pretty easy even without a fancy yogurt maker, you really just need a thermometer.

I also take a bunch of them and freeze them for blueberry muffins, blueberry crisp and to stir in our "help yourself" oatmeal during the winter time.  I have not made blueberry jelly, but one of these days I'm determined to.  What do you do with your blues?

July 10, 2008

Play at Play

It's a crazy name for a place, but it's lots of fun. "Play" is a fun romper room kind of joint for kids. It goes beyond the standard jumpy place with trampolines, a ball pit, a foam pit and huge balls to bounce around.  Not to mention the indoor picnic area, and mom's room complete with wifi.  The good news is you can go with your kids or you can drop them off.

PLAY Activity Center

10930 Crabapple Road
Roswell, GA 30075
(Hwy 92 and Crabapple Road)

July 4, 2008

American Apple Pie

We had some friends over for 4th of July for a cookout with Bambi burgers (okay I know it's sounds a little harsh, but they are yummy and better for you than beef), hotdogs, and apple pie for dessert. What could be more American?...putting the flag on the top of the pie. So easy and adorable. Cut out a rectangle of leftover pie dough and then a couple of small strips for the stripes and roll a couple of tiny balls for the stars. 
I don't really have a recipe for my apple pie as I have been baking it since Jr High Youth Group.  We used to go out to an orchard, pick the apples, spend the night at church and then bake pies the whole next day. They sold incredibly quickly at church that Sunday and they were delicious. You really just need apples, butter, spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, maybe anise seed or cloves if you are feeling wild and sugar (I use a mix of brown and white). I can almost smell it baking now!

Apple Pie "Recipe"
  • Bag of apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly (I like using an assortment of crisp varieties)
  • Pie crust (make or buy, but you'll need two crusts, one for top and one for the bottom)
  • Spices (see above for ideas, but this is really up to personal preference)
  • 1 cup sugar, a mix of brown and white
  • 1/4 cup flour approximately, to help thicken the sauce that forms
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) butter cut into slices (or pats as they are known)

Combine apples, spices, sugar and flour in a large bowl. Toss to coat the apples. Plop them into the bottom pie shell. I like to pile them up into a huge mound because I think the best part of the pie is the apples. Put the butter pats over the top of the apples, spread out. Carefully lay the top crust out over the apples and press the edges of the two pie crusts together to form a seal. You can make this pretty and flute it like I did above by pressing your first three fingers together on opposite sides of the crust. Kinda like you are giving the pie crust a good pinch. Moving around you do this on the whole edge. If you made your crust, you might have leftover that you can create into a cute topper like I did with the flag.  No matter what, be sure to vent your pie so it stays crispy. Cut small slits or holes into the top crust before you bake it. Bake at 400 degrees for 45mins - 1 hour depending on how many apples you used. Be sure to put a cookie pan with edges under the pie in case it drips out. Let cool and then serve otherwise it will be a soupy mess.


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